Special Issue "Mercury in Fluvial Systems: Distribution and Cycling Processes"

A special issue of Environments (ISSN 2076-3298).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 13 August 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Valentina Rimondi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Università di Firenze, Via G. La Pira 4, 50121 Firenze, Italy
Interests: heavy metal pollution; mercury and arsenic geochemistry; ore deposits, geothermal systems, fluid inclusions analysis; stream sediment and soil geochemistry; travertine rocks; water chemistry
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Mercury (Hg) is a pollutant of much concern due to its global distribution and toxicity to living organisms. Fluvial ecosystems are crucial sites to investigate Hg biogeochemistry due to the pivotal role of floodplains for human activities. Globally, many fluvial ecosystems are severely impacted by Hg, derived from multiple sources such as coal combustion, smelting of metal ores, Hg/Au mining, and soda/PVC plants. On the other hand, Hg atmospheric distribution around the globe can affect pristine fluvial networks without local emission sources. Once they enter rivers, Hg hotspots are rapidly diluted and transported hundreds of kilometers from the original source, and finally redistributed in all sediment of the river corridors ruled out by river hydrodynamics. Sediments then become new nonpoint sources of Hg in rivers, and Hg recycling may last for hundreds of years, leading to great variability in spatial patterns, and difficult management strategies. Additionally, Hg methylation may occur in anoxic sediments, favoring the uptake by local biota.

This Special Issue invites critical reviews, research papers, and communications bringing together knowledge on the behavior of Hg in fluvial environments, including implications for human health, management of contaminated sediment, and future research needs.

Dr. Valentina Rimondi
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • floodplains
  • mercury
  • mercury speciation
  • methylation
  • natural attenuation
  • river corridors
  • sediment contamination
  • sediment management
  • speciation
  • water contamination

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Article
Discontinuous Geochemical Monitoring of the Galleria Italia Circumneutral Waters (Former Hg-Mining Area of Abbadia San Salvatore, Tuscany, Central Italy) Feeding the Fosso Della Chiusa Creek
Environments 2021, 8(2), 15; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/environments8020015 - 20 Feb 2021
Viewed by 820
Abstract
The Galleria Italia waters drain the complex tunnel system of the former Hg-mining area of Abbadia San Salvatore (Tuscany, central Italia) and feed the 2.5 km-long Fosso della Chiusa creek. The mining exploitation was active for more than one century and more than [...] Read more.
The Galleria Italia waters drain the complex tunnel system of the former Hg-mining area of Abbadia San Salvatore (Tuscany, central Italia) and feed the 2.5 km-long Fosso della Chiusa creek. The mining exploitation was active for more than one century and more than 100,000 tons of liquid mercury were produced by roasting processes of cinnabar (HgS). In this work, a discontinuous geochemical monitoring of the Galleria Italia circumneutral waters was carried out from February 2009 to October 2020, during which the main physicochemical parameters, main and minor dissolved species and trace elements (including Hg) were determined. In the observation period, significant variations in the water chemistry were recorded, particularly when flooding waves, due to intense precipitations, occurred, with the two main events being recorded in February 2009 and January 2010. The chemical composition of the Galleria Italia waters was Ca(Mg)-SO4 and related to congruent dissolution of gypsum/anhydrite at which a contribution from carbonatic and silicatic minerals and partial solubilization of CO2 and and H2S oxidation is to be added. Regarding the trace elements, Al, Mn and Fe were up to 1500, 768 and 39520 μg L−1, with these elements also showing high contents in the sediment precipitating by the Galleria Italia waters. In most cases, dissolved mercury was below the instrumental detection limit (<0.1 μg L−1), although occasionally it reached >1 μg L−1. Considering a mean flow rate of 40 L s−1 of the discharged water, the amount of dissolved mercury released from Galleria Italia was computed, although most mercury was occurring in the sediment (1.2 mg kg−1). A more realistic computation of mercury released from Galleria Italia should involve a sampling network along the Fosso della Chiusa before entering the riverine system of the Tiber basin, into which dissolved and suspended mercury are to be determined along with that occurring in the sediments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mercury in Fluvial Systems: Distribution and Cycling Processes)
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Article
Mercury Bioavailability in Fluvial Sediments Estimated Using Chironomus riparius and Diffusive Gradients in Thin-Films (DGT)
Environments 2021, 8(2), 7; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/environments8020007 - 25 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 918
Abstract
Mercury bioavailability was assessed by exposing the dipteran Chironomus riparius for the whole life cycle to legacy-contaminated fluvial sediments (0.038–0.285 mg Hg kg−1 d.w.) and analyzing tissue concentrations in larvae at different exposure times (7, 11, and 16 days) and in adults. [...] Read more.
Mercury bioavailability was assessed by exposing the dipteran Chironomus riparius for the whole life cycle to legacy-contaminated fluvial sediments (0.038–0.285 mg Hg kg−1 d.w.) and analyzing tissue concentrations in larvae at different exposure times (7, 11, and 16 days) and in adults. In the same experiment, diffusive gradients in thin-film passive samplers (DGTs), both piston- and probe-shaped, were co-deployed in the same sediments and retrieved at the same times as the organisms. To compare the two approaches, results showed a good agreement between accumulation kinetics of C. riparius and DGTs, both approximating an apparent steady-state. A strong correlation was found between values in tissues and in both types of DGTs (r between 0.74 and 0.99). Concentrations in mature larvae (19–140 µg kg−1 w.w.), which may represent a basal level of the aquatic food web, exceeded the European Environmental Quality Standard for biota (20 µg kg−1 w.w.), which aims at protecting the top predators from secondary poisoning. Body burdens in larvae and in adults were similar, showing negligible decontamination during metamorphosis and proving an efficient mercury transfer from sediments to terrestrial food webs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mercury in Fluvial Systems: Distribution and Cycling Processes)
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